Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Green Screening with First Grade and iMovie

Keystone Elementary first grade teacher Suzanne Buckley and I have been experimenting with video and green screening. Suzanne first approached me with an idea for recording a video of her students acting as reporters and sharing what they had learned during their cross-curricular unit on owls. She wanted the students to appear as though they were reporting from a newsroom as well as from "the field."

After doing a little research, I discovered that the iMovie '09 software on my Macbook would allow us to do just that! We video taped the kids standing in front of a green screen--a sheet of green fabric that we borrowed from our high school art teacher. (Thanks, Fred!) In iMovie, I was able to import photographs of a newsroom as well as nature shots and then superimpose the video over them. I admit that my video-editing skills need a lot of work, but the green screening process itself was very easy with iMovie. A blog entry from "Moving at the Speed of Creativity" got me started.

Our next project was video taping Mrs. Buckley's students in front of a green screen as they recited lines from "Camper, Camper, What Do You See?" This time we replaced the green background with student-created artwork. We also used a Flip video camera, which made importing the video onto my Macbook very simple. It was also easy to delete video clips that we weren't happy with as we did the taping, instead of after they were imported into iMovie. We will definitely use the Flip again for future projects.

I haven't figured out yet how to add transitions between the video clips in iMovie without messing up the timing for the changing of backgrounds. The lack of transitions makes the videos a bit choppy, but hey, we're still learning!

I've embedded our videos below. Enjoy watching these delightful first graders as they demonstrate what they're learning in first grade!

If you don't see the embedded videos, visit our SchoolTube channel.

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